Hematite is the gem form of iron, in the same way that Diamond is the gem form of carbon. This iron gemstone has a beautiful metallic sheen and its natural magnetic properties have made it very popular for healing and magic in recent years. The name Hematite (sometimes spelled 'Haematite') is from the Greek 'Haimatites', meaning 'Stone of Blood' because when it is cut or ground it gives off a red dust that runs like blood when mixed with water. This is iron oxide (rust) and the dry powder is called Red Ochre. Red Ochre, the 'blood of the Earth', has been used for thousands of years as a pigment for cave painting and also to paint prehistoric tombs and the bodies of the dead. The blood red color symbolized life energy and Hematite was used in funeral rites to ensure a safe journey to the Underworld and a favorable reincarnation.
At the end of the Bronze Age the cultures that created iron weapons became invincible in the face of bronze swords and spears, and all forms of iron were believed to be a blessing from the Gods and considered sacred to Gods and Goddesses of war such as Mars, Ares and the Celtic Morrighan.
Hematite is a powerful stone that holds and concentrates magical energy and contains within it the combined essences of elemental Earth and Fire. It is often used in magic to release a sudden burst of power, for example at the conclusion of a spell. Hematite is used magically to breaks through any barriers that may be holding you back from achieving what you want, especially fear, inhibition, guilt, worry or self-doubt.
Hematite is an excellent gem for absorbing and grounding negative energy, and is sometimes used to stop poltergeist activity and psychic disturbances. It can be used to ground high spiritual and magical energies after you have been working magic or meditating and can also help 'ground' your dreams and visions into physical reality. Hematite creates a powerful connection with the Earth and is a useful stone for anyone who feels 'spaced out' by meditation or magical work - holding a piece of Hematite and digging your bare feet or hands into the Earth is one of the simplest and most effective ways to ground excess energy.
For many centuries Hematite was used to help recovery after childbirth or surgery and today is sometimes used in spells to ensure that a surgeon's knife is swift and accurate. Hematite's main use in modern crystal healing is to cleanse and purify the blood and improve circulation. It is believed to augment and balance the flow of energy in the body, ensuring physical and spiritual energy are working together harmoniously.